Treasure Worth Billions Found in Hindu Temple
Among the findings: an 18-foot-long necklace
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2011 5:59 PM CDT
Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Tucked within six underground vaults at a Hindu temple in southern India sits a treasure estimated to be worth more than $11.2 billion. Among the findings: precious stones, human figurines made of gold, thousands of necklaces (one 18 feet long), and many gold coins—and two of the chambers have yet to be opened. The Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple was built hundreds of years ago and dedicated to Vishnu, reports AFP.

Donations from devotees have slumbered in its vaults since, and the Times of India adds that legend holds that the Travancore royal family, which built the temple, moved loads of wealth to it in order to keep the family's riches from the British. The temple has been controlled by descendants of the Travencore kings, but the country's supreme court recently ordered that the state take an inventory of its assets.